Cindy S. Chandler has two goals when she begins her term Aug. 1 as chair of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission: “to continue to look after the best interest of the consumer while being very
mindful to not enact rules that are overly onerous to the practitioners.”
Chandler, owner of The Chandler Group in Charlotte, was elected in May to head the nine-member regulatory body. She succeeds fellow Charlottean Thomas R. “Tommy” Lawing Jr., president of the
residential property management company T.R. Lawing Realty Inc. George Bell of Winston-Salem was elected vice chair.
Chandler specializes in commercial real estate consulting and serves as a residential and commercial real estate trainer with The Chandler Group. She is also an instructor at the Mingle School of Real Estate, the official school of real estate for the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association.
Chandler said she had two goals when joining the commission in 2011: To serve and give back to the industry she has worked in for more than 30 years, and to be a voice for commercial real estate practitioners and instructors.
The commission is an independent state agency that licenses and regulates real estate professionals. As of May 1, there were 95,688 individuals and firms licensed in the state, down from 110,900 in the year ending June 30, 2008 but up from 94,296 in the year ending June 30, 2013. The body’s primary purpose, she said, is to enact and enforce rules that protect home buyers and sellers.
The commission, she said, strives to have “practices in place that make real estate an honorable business.” She said most licensees work at least partially in residential real estate.
The biggest issues Chandler expects the commission to face are keeping up with technology changes and new trends in real estate – and keeping the rules regarding covering those issues current.
“Our practitioners are learning new things every day, and we need to keep up so that we’re knowledgeable on things like loan fraud and consumer fraud, pay attention to Twitter and Instagram and understand how practitioners are using that – how it interfaces with our rules and how our business continues to change,” she said.
She said rapid changes in technology and trends have kept the commission and its staff busy keeping rules and educational efforts relevant.
“The way I look at it is, it ain’t my bus, but I’m allowed to drive the bus for a year,” she said when asked what she hopes to accomplish as chair. “At times I can decide where it can stop or if we take side streets, but it ain’t my bus.”
Chandler entered the real estate business more than 30 years ago, and has worked in real estate investment, syndication, strategic planning, management, marketing and education.
She received the Billie J. Mercer Excellence in Education Award of the Real Estate Commission in 2011 and is the author of “The Insider’s Guide to Commercial Real Estate,” published by Dearborn/Kaplan Publishing. She also has served as chair of the Mecklenburg County Zoning Board of Adjustment and vice chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission; regional vice president for the National Association of Realtors; and president of the Charlotte chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women, the N.C. Association of Realtors and the N.C. Real Estate Educators Association.
Bell is president of George Bell Productions Ltd., a real estate education firm serving real estate brokers across North Carolina, and principal broker and broker-in-charge of the Bell First Group, a real estate brokerage firm. He is also a consultant to real estate brokerage and law firms in the state. He entered the real estate business in 1978, following graduation from East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with concentrations in real estate and banking.
Bell was the 2009 Realtor of the Year for the Winston-Salem Regional Association of Realtors, and served as its president in 2010. He was inducted into the North Carolina Association of Realtors Hall of Fame in 2014.
In 2012, he received the Billie J. Mercer Excellence in Education Award from the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and the Educator of the Year Award from the North Carolina Real Estate Educators Association. He is a past president of the both the state and international Real Estate Educator Associations.